Skip navigation

Category Archives: crafting

I’ve been trying to find more constructive ways of decompressing and relaxing.  I had been playing mindless match 3 games and the like because they’re easy to pick up and put down.  But in the event that I end up playing for a long time, it feels like I’ve wasted a lot of time.

That’s happening more and more, actually, on the occasion I try to play a video or computer game.  There are so many things that I need to attend to that spending a few hours on a video or computer game feels like a very inefficient allocation of resources and I end up being more stressed and frustrated.  This doesn’t happen as much with board games…maybe because there’s a social aspect to it.

The mindless match 3 games were ok because I could focus solely on trying to match three of whatever instead of things that were bothering me.  But…too bad it’s mindless and I have nothing to show for it after playing.  Also, the calming effect was pretty much only happening while I was playing the game when I had something else to concentrate on.  I needed something else was relatively simple and produced some kind of result (i.e. the calming effect lasts beyond the actual activity, if even only for a little bit, and maybe have something tangible to show for it which is a reminder of the decompressing).  So, I’ve taken up sketching and painting again.

Now then, I haven’t done anything serious with the sketching/drawing/painting since I was a child.  Remember the watercolor painting I was doing earlier?  That was an extension of the sketching.  I wanted to be able to ease myself back into drawing and painting.  Turns out, around the time I was actively looking for other things to help me decompress, Sandy Allnock released an online class on whimsical sketching.  This worked out very well for me.

Here are some sketchy flowers.

WP_20160124_21_33_13_Rich_LI (2)

This ended up turning out better than I anticipated.  It really didn’t look all that great until I filled in the background.  But you will note how at point I got tired of drawing in the little flowers to break up the black and um…it’s notably just black there.

Horse is getting old. He’s having a hard time regulating his body temperature now in that, he’s having a hard time keeping warm when it’s cold outside. He’s already at a disadvantage as compared to Yaris since he doesn’t have Yaris’ thick, double coat (which incidentally came in extra thick this year, so it means I’ll have enough fur for like three Yarises in the spring). Add to that his advancing age and…Horse is just cold. So I made him a sweater.

You may remember that I’ve done this once before for one of my other dogs when she became an old fart. She was an older fart than Horse is now when I made her the sweater, but Horse is just…such a big dog…and a purebred Lab on top of that. Choco was this weird mutt and smaller and was running with me all the way until she was about 14 years old.

Anyway, I made the same dog sweater pattern as before, again in the XL size, even though Horse is considerably bigger than Choco was. This was possible because I used a bigger needle. The pattern calls for F and G size hooks. I ended up using I and J size hooks. And I took specific pains not to pull my stitches too tight. I always end up pulling my stitches really tight. I’m not sure why that is but I almost always do it.

Btw, there’s an error on the pattern as printed that I don’t think I pointed out last time. When making the second side of the leg opening, you want to continue your stitches all the way to the end. So, if you’re following the XL pattern, the second side of the leg opening should be 16 dc total, like the first side. That will give you a total of 120 dc across (counting the 12 dc skipped for each leg opening). The same applies for the joining row.

The sweater turned out pretty good, I think. A-pusher donated the yarn for Horse and I tried to pick out the colors that were the most clashy. Because I wanted to make an UGLY dog sweater. I wanted him to be very embarrassed by his sweater. Overall, I think I succeeded. Horse was warm and not shivery anymore and when we would go out for walks at night, he would try and hide behind me whenever a car would pass by. I choose to believe that it was because he was very embarrassed by his sweater and not coincidence.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, as I ran out of different colors of yarn, I would just replace it with whatever yarn color that made the biggest pile of yarn. So, you can see when the coral yarn starts to show up in places where it wasn’t supposed to originally. And the sleeves (yes, I actually made the sleeves this time!) are pink/blue and all blue. It makes me laugh.

Also! I rather like the ribbing at the collar.

wp_20161215_20_48_49_rich_li-2